Hardball | November 08, 2012
>>> all in this together. let's play "hardball."
>>> good evening. i'm chris matthews back in washington. let me start tonight with this. the america that voted the other day is big, it is diverse, it is generous of heart. this is a country of old european roots, families that came here from africa in servitude as far back as four centuries ago. of new arriving groups from the rest of the americas and from south asia and from the asian pacific. we are a country of women who were created equal who stand by their rights to equality and respect and personal dignity not to be spoken about as if they are apart from the conversation, apart from a country that honors individual decision making. they're no longer sent into the other room while men discuss the big questions over brandy and cigars nor are gay people no longer are they the other, people to be joked about, sequestered off as if they're not of us, deeply a part of our american family . this was a generous election. forget this talk of sharp elbows elbows, every man for his himself, grab your tax cut and head out on your own. all the nastiness we heard only served to excite and energize the people it was aimed at, only served to turn off the people and said none of that for me. that sounds like uncle what's his name stuff, i don't buy it, i'm not going to buy it. so we go off to this new era of hope. a time to work and think and keep on deciding. we ain't going back because as we decided on tuesday, back just isn't what it was supposed to be, was it? joining me is republican strategist john feary and democratic strategist bob shrum . did you hear that feehery. the republican party can no longer count on white voters to carry them in elections. it dropped two points from 2008 numbers from 72% -- actually went to 72% from 74%. while the minority percentages steadily is rising. here is how the 2012 election broke down by racial group . president obama won just 39% of the white vote down from 49% last time but he outperforms by so much in other demeanor graphic groups he overcomes. obama got 93% of the black vote on tuesday, 71% of the latino vote. that's a big difference from the way "w" did the. "w" did pretty well among latino voters and he got 73% of the asian vote. bob shrum , i want to start with this. we all know looking around and who we know, the country is changing. a lot more people moving to this country from the south, less so from europe, more from asia, south asia , india, pakistan, from the far east , the asian pacific. this is getting to be more like the world.
>> i think part of the tea party reaction, the give our country back or take our country back, is a reflection of people's paranoia about the changing composition of the country. we're going to become a majority nonwhite nation. white men are now only 33% of the electorate, and that's the heart of republican strength. what's happened in the election is you had a an african-american chasm, you had a hispanic chasm, you had a chasm with young voters, and republicans can't win the white house under those circumstances. i think they're going to have to rethink this. now, democrats, chris, you remember we had to rethink how we did things and how we reached out --
>> i'm thinking about -- let me give this to john. let me ask you a question, john, about this. we're doing this very ethnically and to me a little uncomfortable but it is the world we have to look at politically. i don't like talking about race. we're all in the same race. i refer the word ethnicity. let me ask you about young people . i am a skeptic. i agree with joe scarborough , you will never get an election if you count on young people carrying you to victory. this time the people 18 to 29 outperformed their extraordinary performance in the last election. they represented a larger percentage of the electorate than they did last time. they got off their butts wharf they were doing tuesday and they voted. they must like the future because they're voting for the party that's identifying ethnically with the future. what do you think?
>> a couple points, 9 million fewer people voted for barack obama in this election than the last election and mitt romney did not beat john mccain 's totals in this election. both of those numbers are absolutely extraordinary. it says a lot about the romney campaign and its inability to excite its own base and get people out to vote for its own side. i don't disagree --
>> wasn't anger enough?
>> it certainly -- i think it was disgust wt both sides. i think there were a large portion of voters who decided they weren't going to vote for obama and they didn't feel comfortable with romney for a variety of reasons. i agree with the basic prem m is that going forward in the future we need to be more culturally diverse as a party. we need to go after different segments of the population because obviously the country is changing and we all get that. in this particular election, there was another story being told. barack obama was there for the taking. we could have beat him. we just had to have john mccain numbers and we didn't have it.
>> who was your candidate that would have done better than romney ?
>> jeb bush .
>> jeb bush . interesting. you're sort of an establishment republican.
>> yeah, of course. i'm not a tea party . i will say though i think the tea party reaction was a reaction not to what bob was saying, but a reaction to big government , much of what --
>> you're -- okay. look, i think jeb is the best of that family in many ways but let me tell you something. it's not a bad family but he's certainly the best of them. let me tell you the problem with what you just said and guy away feehery. this is a dangerous thing you have given. one of my little speech notes i give when i talk to groups is just think about the country we're in. from the time i paid attention to politics in 1952 to 2004 , the same three names showed up on every republican ticket, nixon, let's see, bush, then filling in the blanks, bob dole and back by popular demand in '96 bob dole . now you're saying the solution to the republican future is bush. it's a legacy. don't you broaden it out beyond the anglo-saxon names bush and dole and nixon. can't you get out wider.
>> the front running for the democrats is clinton. that's not exactly a new name.
>> you got me. you got me! falt hery, you got me.
>> jeb bush , and you said it earlier, jeb bush understands the diversity of the country.
>> he's pushed back against the republican party --
>> he got me.
>> -- in terms of immigration. he thinks the republicans have to move on this, but there are two big problems here. one, if the party performs historically the way it does in midterm elections when you have a president in his second term, there will be a lot of people on the right who will succeed and they will go back into 2016 just the way they went into 2012 . you will then have a primary situation where what you have to do to get the nomination in the primaries ised a odds with what you have to do to win the general. there will be a civil war in the republican party . it's going to be, i'd broaden it out a little, create a little more diversity, between the jeb bush / chris christie side of this ledger and the paul ryan / mike huckabee side of the ledger.
>> richard vigory, the direct mail expert, he pioneered the field of direct mail . he put out a statement as a bugle call . i think you're on the other side of the fit. mitt romney 's loss was the death rattle of the establishment gop. far from signaling a rejection of the tea party or grassroots conservatives, the disaster of 2012 signals the beginning of the battle to take over the republican party and the opportunity to establish the gop as the party of small government , constitutional conservative. john, react to that.
>> i don't care about richard. i really don't care about him. what i want to say is this. mike huckabee gets diversity. he was an excellent governor and i don't agree with mike huckabee on everything but don't throw mike huckabee opposite of jeb bush . i think paul ryan gets it, too.
>> ryan is an anti-immigrant republican. he took up all this language they've used. you know, mitt romney went on and talked about people self-deporting. when you do that and when you try to suppress the vote, i think you force people to vote. i think african-americans and hispanics said it doesn't matter what they try to do to us, we're going --
>> john, your thoughts.
>> let me say something quick about this voter suppression stuff. what the republicans did was stupid. i agree with you on that because it gets people more rhode island up. go after the vote. don't try to stop the vote. i think the whole thing was ridiculous and i want to get that on the record.
>> well-said, john feehery. you're a jack camp republican, big tent .
>> get more votes.
>> it's a game of edition.
>> we're watching the debate begin -- knives are always out when you lose an election. we have to expect this is going to be a rough fight on the republican right wing side.
>> the country will be better off if the kind of thing john is talking about prevails in the republican party .
>> i think it will.
>> people should both be competing for african-american votes, both sides should -- because it's not healthy to have one side say self-deport to the people who don't have papers. that very much gets to the mindset of the people who do have papers i would think. your thoughts quickly, john.
>> i will say that i think john boehner is going to do a good job as speaker and we're going to get stuff done and it's going to be good for the country because i think boehner is thinking first about how do we make this country better and i think it's going to be good for the country.
>> i hope you're right.
>> why don't you go work with him. together you could make things happen. john feehery, i hope you get a job with that guy. you and him would be great. bob shrum .
>> great to see you.
>> i always root for boehner